Personal computing discussed

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DPete27
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Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:57 pm

Since the front page article will likely get buried under CES product announcements, I wanted to discuss Razer's project Linda.
The article really got me thinking: Why not just replace touchpads with touchscreens!?!?!?! Apple got it half right with the TouchBar (too small to be used to its fullest potential) and Razer juuust missed with requiring a phone to be inserted (gaping hole and no trackpad function when your phone isn't in there, can only fit a specific maker/generation of phone, etc etc).

This could be a 4.5" 720p screen that can display app-specific buttons like the TouchBar, or desktop Icons, weather/temps, system info, all the way down to just a decorative background (or off to conserve battery). Phone-sized touchscreens are relatively inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk. Etc. etc.

I really think this could be the next "thing" for laptops. I'm pretty excited.
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just brew it!
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:37 pm

So when it has application specific buttons on it, what do you use for a pointing device?
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Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:25 pm

Because, on a laptop, I loathe touchscreens like I have loathed no other interface in my life. Having a touchscreen that I need to look at for context, instead of an input device with concretely defined physical buttons and behavior, is the opposite of what I want for my computer.

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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:27 pm

Also seems like it'd be a pretty significant drain on battery life. It does seem like a better idea than using an actual touchscreen display on a laptop if only because you don't have to reach across the keyboard to use it.
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:36 pm

Touchscreen laptops are great for a few things. Media consumption. Also infinite resizing in MSOffice. I don’t see a touchpad being any better. Plus it is very unnatural to look down here when using a laptop.
 
ludi
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:50 pm

I think there's a reason this is a CES concept and not a product announcement -- it's a slick tech demo, but a phone has less hardware power than what I typically want when carrying a laptop, and a glowing touch interface in the palm rest seems like it would interfere with my workflow more than help it.

EDIT:
just brew it! wrote:
So when it has application specific buttons on it, what do you use for a pointing device?

IMO that's the easy part -- just have a FN-key modifier that switches between display-on with application buttons, and display-off with the digitizer acting like a touchpad. Presumably you would still have a touchscreen interface on the main display when using the application buttons.
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:38 pm

ludi wrote:
IMO that's the easy part -- just have a FN-key modifier that switches between display-on with application buttons, and display-off with the digitizer acting like a touchpad.

Fair enough.

ludi wrote:
Presumably you would still have a touchscreen interface on the main display when using the application buttons.

Sounds a little awkward. Maybe it would be OK in practice.
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DancinJack
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:44 pm

Yeah this does not sound like it's something I'd want. At all. I just don't see the point honestly. Everything you could put on that screen you could put on the main screen in some place (albeit possibly in a menu, but still). As others have said, I don't think looking down at that touchscreen is going to be productive at all.

Anyway, no thanks for me!
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:10 am

I’ll break with the crowd here. I think a touchscreen there is a great idea. For productivity apps, like office, Photoshop, etc. you would have the menus and buttons on the secondary screen and have the entire main screen for your work. Games would work the same way, where you have one screen for your stats, inventory, or whatever, and one dedicated only to your main view.

I think it’s a grand idea.
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DPete27
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:03 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
on a laptop, I loathe touchscreens like I have loathed no other interface in my life.

I agree with respect to the main display being a touchscreen. The worst part is that it's ergonomically unnatural because of the positioning having to reach across the keyboard and not being able to anchor/rest your wrist/hand/arm for improved accuracy. Close second is that you're getting fingerprints all over your main display. That's fine for a tablet, because you have no other choice, but I absolutely don't prefer it on a laptop. However, if the trackpad is a touchscreen, that's less of a problem because it's not going to be a primary/critical display, it serves the secondary role of icons, bar sliders, buttons, etc etc where I'd wager most users wouldn't care about fingerprints.

just brew it! wrote:
So when it has application specific buttons on it, what do you use for a pointing device?

I was thinking what Ludi said. Most trackpads have a toggle on-off button/zone on them anyway.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Plus it is very unnatural to look down here when using a laptop.

I've seen enough chicken-peckers that would disagree :wink: Consider this though, what if the touchpadtouchscreen has icons on it that can eliminate the need for you to move your hand to a mouse or trackpad to navigate the cursor to an icon. Instead that's an icon that you hit with your thumb now.

Redocbew wrote:
Also seems like it'd be a pretty significant drain on battery life.

Define "significant". Certainly a 4.5" 720p AMOLED screen consumes a fraction of the power that a ~14" 1080p IPS screen does. Knowing that you'd be able to turn off the backlight and use the touchscreen as a trackpad only can help extend runtimes when needed.
Last edited by DPete27 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:22 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
I’ll break with the crowd here. I think a touchscreen there is a great idea. For productivity apps, like office, Photoshop, etc. you would have the menus and buttons on the secondary screen and have the entire main screen for your work. Games would work the same way, where you have one screen for your stats, inventory, or whatever, and one dedicated only to your main view.

I think it’s a grand idea.

Awwww yeah. This is what I want. Something that will take MORE time to use. I understand the argument for resolution, but also Photoshop (and other similar applications) do a really good job of letting you minimize the menu intrusion if you're not using them. Also what I want is a second screen to look at during games so a 15 year old spergling can come up and kill me during the 2 seconds I take off to look at my stats on this magical second screen.

I still just do not get it. I mean, it looks cool I guess? It just doesn't seem like a good idea for productivity at all.
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:37 pm

I think it could be really useful, especially if it was paired with well executed haptic feedback. Also, most phone touchscreens offer much better response than the track-pads on a lot of laptops. As long as the touchscreen acted like a track-pad when used as such (relative cursor motion instead of the normal absolute position of a touchscreen), it could be a great value add, especially on smaller screened laptops. Personally, I would gladly take a 5 to 6 inch touchscreen as a replacement to the track-pad if the center area of the touchscreen still acted like a trackpad and the outer areas had customizable shortcuts, as long as I could turn off the backlight when it is not needed.

Edit: What I would like would be a touchscreen version of the top two rows of buttons on my 3D mouse, Spacemouse Enterprise. The shortcuts are responsive to the task you are doing, for example, designing a part in SolidWorks vs writing a Word doc, and they are customizable per application/task. They become second nature very quickly and provide a great productivity boost since you can do more without having to move your hand from the 3D mouse. If something similar be replicated with a touch-screen on a laptop, I would personally be very happy.
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:48 pm

Keyboard shortcuts are much more intuitive and will always be quicker Than icon shortcuts.
 
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:58 pm

I like touchscreens on laptops. Especially other people's laptops. It's kind of a power trip thing. If in a meeting I'll look at someone's laptop then poke and prod my greasy fingers all over it. You don't like that, do you? Well, I'm doing it.
 
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Re: Touchscreen instead of touchpad

Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:08 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
I’ll break with the crowd here. I think a touchscreen there is a great idea. For productivity apps, like office, Photoshop, etc. you would have the menus and buttons on the secondary screen and have the entire main screen for your work. Games would work the same way, where you have one screen for your stats, inventory, or whatever, and one dedicated only to your main view.

I think it’s a grand idea.

Nintendo 3DS/DS is an example of that idea.
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